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July 24, 2007

The Minimum Wage Cometh

This week, low-wage workers will get their first mandated pay increase since 1997, when the first phase of the Democrats' minimum wage bill comes into effect and boosts the federal minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $5.85. The minimum wage will then increase by 70 cents every till 2009, when the national minimum wage will come to rest at $7.25.

All in all, not bad, and a real, tangible accomplishment for the Democratic Congress. Brian Beutler thinks having this legislation to point to will give "the Democratic leadership...a freer hand to bring one of a handful of its Constitutional crises with the president to a head." In other words, having something tangible lets them pursue abuses of power without being subject to the "get something done!" charge. I'm skeptical, even though I don't think the Democrats are going to get much done beyond the minimum wage no matter what they spend the rest of the session on. It wouldn't matter if they were passing six pieces of legislation daily. As soon as they begin focusing on more abstract issues of executive privilege and power, the GOP will accuse them of neglecting the people's work. This despite the fact that the GOP is obstructing that same work in a literally historic fashion.

You know, if we had a press that pointed these sorts of things out, this would be a moot point, and folks would understand why the executive power questions are tied in with what the Congress can and cannot do. But we do not have that sort of a press.

July 24, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

Ezra,

You're right, the "poodle press" in the US is filled with corrupt, disingenuous artificers whose abject adulation of wealth and power is without a trace of dignity.

The US Main Stream Media is the problem. Americans want to do the right thing, but the US media is a propaganda organ of the Republican Party apparatchiks and the information that is fed to Americans is misrepresentation of reality created to enhance the power of the top .01% and their attendant sycophants.

Posted by: S Brennan | Jul 24, 2007 12:29:33 PM

I thought it was very telling that NOT ONE of the debate YouTube's asked about Bush's executive power-grab, torture, executive privilege, imcompetence in administering the government departments and agencies, politicization of the judiciary and Justice Dept, etc.

That may reflect that CNN choose for use about one percent of the YouTube entries submitted, or it may be that those issues have not yet resonated with the people. It is worrying though, and makes one wonder if people don't care or the media won't let them know the breadth and depth of the attack on the Constitution by Bush/Cheney/GOP.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Jul 24, 2007 12:36:14 PM

Thank heaven (and a Democratic Congress) for the minimum-wage increase.

With any luck, the economic boost the trickle-up effect ("a rising tide lifts all boats" and all) will have on the economy will be in full swing by the time we have a Democratic President.

Posted by: dm | Jul 24, 2007 12:45:54 PM

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